Madison — The Wisconsin Supreme Court ordered state elections officials Friday to include U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips on the Democratic presidential primary ballot, ruling that Democrats on a bipartisan presidential selection committee should have discussed him.
Phillips will challenge President Joe Biden on April 2 after the unanimous verdict. “Today, the Wisconsin Supreme Court struck a blow against the anti-democratic attempts by Biden allies to unlawfully keep Congressman Dean Phillips off the ballot,” Phillips campaign officials stated. “Wisconsin voters can now choose their candidate.”
Phillips, who represents Minnesota in Congress, sued the Wisconsin Elections Commission on Jan. 26 to put his name to the ballot after Democratic selection committee leaders left him off during a Jan. 2 meeting.
Phillips claimed in his complaint that he satisfied Wisconsin law's ballot access requirement of being “generally advocated or recognized in the national news media.” State Justice Department attorneys defending the elections commission contended that the committee had sole control over ballot selection.
Court determined committee failed to appropriately exercise judgment. In a five-minute meeting, Democrats named Biden as their lone contender and confirmed his inclusion on the ballot without discussion.
The court stated that the Presidential Preference Selection Committee erred in exercising its discretion under state law with respect to Phillips. Phillips is a longshot Biden opponent. He is the sole elected Democrat fighting Biden.
Phillips received 20% of the vote in last month's New Hampshire write-in primary, which Biden handily won. Other states have certified Phillips for primary ballots.
Five Republican candidates, including four who have dropped out, were also added by the Wisconsin selection committee.
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